From the pastor….
On June 19, 1988 at St. Peter’s UCC in Carmel, Indiana, I had hands laid upon me with hope, love and the Spirit. My dad said the prayer of ordination as I was blessed with family, friends, colleagues, local church members, wider church members, and folks from my first call. They were gathered around me with love. The authorized clergy, with my family laid hands upon me and the rest of the congregation touched the shoulder in front of them, so that the whole congregation was connected, with the Spirit of God, to bless my ordination. What a wonderful celebration it was! There are times I remember it like it was yesterday, and there are other times it seems like it was a lifetime ago. I can hear the words of Rev. Dr. Rueben Shearers preaching from Second Timothy 2:6ff NRSV
6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
Rueben was reminding me that I was not alone, that I had been taught, and that I would continue to teach and preach; that at times it would be really hard, and at times it would be easy. That there would be times when the church would be ready for growth and hope and there would be other times that I would become frustrated because God was working through me, but the ears and eyes of those I was ministering with were not opened yet. I was to continue to push on, to not have a spirit of cowardice, but to listen for what God was helping me to do, calling me to do and be, that I would never be alone.
Throughout these 30 years, there have been times that I have loved what I am doing, and there are times during those 30 years where I have been quite frustrated. There are times when the work that I have done has been appreciated and there have been times when I have been looked at like what is she doing? There have been times that I have kept my boundaries, of time off, rest, renewal, continuing education and sabbath really well, and there have been times that I have struggled with that. So, in order to help me with that struggle, a reminder… Friday is my day off, if there is an emergency please call me or text me, if it could wait, call me on Monday. When my sons were younger, it was much easier to tell people no, because I was going to be at their activities; now that they are adults, I need to be better at taking care of me and my time with Jeff. I need to find time to go be with my Dad. I need to be better at sabbath time and renewal, continuing education and rest. So, I ask you to help me to do that, honor my day off unless you are having an emergency.
30 years has flown by. It hardly seems possible that it has been that long. Teaching and peaching, being authentic and challenging, following God’s call, all are ways that I am called to be Christ’s disciple. “for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” Thanks be to God for the call that God placed on my life and I answered.
Joyful blessings, Pastor Mindy